Robert Vellekoop

Robert Vellekoop (*1984 Osnabrück) lives and works in Hamburg. He studied in Prof Anselm Reyle’s class at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg, from where he graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in 2016. 

Robert Vellekoop’s depictions of urban scenes and industrial zones, motorway junctions, factory halls and glowing lanterns are always charged with a cinematic atmosphere. The artist’s genre-spanning works feature landscapes, streets and freeways reminiscent of American film sets, where minimalist still-lives of tables, chairs, bottles and plants are composed into urban, yet deserted scenes. This cinematic narrative style allows him to reject clear interpretations and to question politics of visibility and vision. In the words of Michel Foucault in Surveillance and Punishment (1975), “visibility is a trap” (Foucault, 1975). 

A recurring motif in Vellekoop’s work is the presence of artificial light sources, such as streetlamps in urban spaces. An integral part of urban infrastructure since the mid-19th century, streetlamps are also part of the surveillance of public space, contributing to a ‘panopticon’ in which individual bodies in society are disciplined by a  sense of constant and internalised visibility. This is part of what Foucault calls biopolitics, namely the power to regulate populations. 

Vellekoop’s wall works are based on drawings, developed and refined through a slow process. For his paintings, he often uses wooden panels and applies various layers of acrylic paint, then sanding down the surface before building up richer layers of colour. In turn, sculptural works are informed by the paintings. Vellekoop’s lamps, with spherical bulbs of frosted glass mounted on painted bases, have an idiosyncratic autonomy akin to the work of the Dadaists or Constructivists. 

Robert Vellekoop had numerous solo exhibitions (selection): Haverkampf Leistenschneider, Berlin; Evelyn Drewes Galerie, Hamburg; Schierke Seinecke, Frankfurt am Main; Galerie in der Wassermühle, Trittau, DE and has been part of a large number of group exhibitions (selection): Villa am Elbhang, Hamburg; Barlachhalle K, Hamburg; Falckenberg Collection, Hamburg; Kunsthaus Hamburg.


Born in Osnabrück, Germany / geboren in Osnabrück, Deutschland

Lives and works in Hamburg / lebt und arbeitet in Hamburg

Education / Ausbildung


Master of Fine Arts, HfbK Hamburg, Prof. Anselm Reyle

Selected Solo Exhibitions / Ausgewählte Einzelausstellungen


Standard of Living, Haverkampf Leistenschneider, Berlin


Lab (Towerland Katalog Release), Evelyn Drewes | Galerie, Hamburg

Monstera deliciosa, Schierke Seinecke, Frankfurt

Casual Ambience, Paul Smith Store, Hamburg

‘U TURN’, Galerie in der Wassermühle Trittau


‘Hidden Moments’, Evelyn Drewes Galerie, Hamburg

‘FIASKO’, Philipp Haverkampf Galerie, Berlin

‘Towerland’, Schierke Seinecke, Frankfurt


‘Paintings’, Evelyn Drewes Galerie, Hamburg


‘SUN TOXIC CITY’, Philipp Haverkampf Galerie, Berlin (with Shara Hughes)

Selected Group Exhibitions / Ausgewählte Gruppenausstellungen


Elb/Hängung #1, Villa am Elbhang, Hamburg


Séance, Schierke Seinecke, Frankfurt am Main


‘Aufbrechen’, Barlachhalle K, Hamburg, GER


‘Hamburger Arbeitsstipendien für Bildende Kunst’, Sammlung Falckenberg, Hamburg


‘Nachts allein im Atelier’, Evelyn Drewes Galerie, Hamburg

‘BewerberInnen für das Hamburger Arbeitsstipendium 2017’, Kunsthaus, Hamburg

‘no country for old men’, Evelyn Drewes Galerie, Hamburg


‘Salondergegenwart’, Hamburg

‘Absolventenausstellung’ HfbK Hamburg

‘Index 14’, Kunsthaus, Hamburg


‘Nominiert für Hiscox Kunstpreis’, Kunsthaus, Hamburg

‘Loft Stories’, Wiensowskie & Harbord, Berlin


‘Laute Bilder’, Gängeviertel, Hamburg


‘Duktil’, Hinterconti, Hamburg

Preise / Awards


Neustart Kultur Stiftung Kunstfonds


Hamburger Zukunftsstipendium für bildende Kunst


Hamburger Arbeitsstipendium für bildende Kunst